‘Unbelievable 13-hour wait' in Royal Gwent A&E sparks row
Updated 8:23am Thursday 16th January 2014 in News
A WOMAN had to wait 13 hours in the Royal Gwent Hospital after she tried to be admitted to hospital with a suspected heart attack, an AM has claimed.
William Graham, Tory AM for South Wales East, made the claim in the Assembly during First Minister’s Questions yesterday.
He told Carwyn Jones that a constituent had been in touch with him saying that she attempted to be admitted for a suspected heart attack but spent 13 hours in accident and emergency “with no sleep or even comfort”.
According to Mr Graham’s office the constituent, who went into the Royal Gwent Hospital’s A&E department in early January, claims she waited three to four hours to be seen by a doctor.
She then waited another 13 hours to be seen by a consultant in a waiting area amid issues with bed availability.
No blankets or pillows provided, according to his office, but she was discharged the next day, he said.
Mr Graham also said he had received complaints from others for whom elective surgery had been cancelled and the surgery wouldn’t then take place “at the least until the early part of the New Year”.
Mr Graham had asked Mr Jones if he could offer “some solution”, but Mr Jones said he couldn’t possibly comment on letters he hadn’t seen or allegations that have been made that haven’t been investigated.
He said he’d be happy to look at their cases if the individuals involved were happy for their details to be released and that he would ask the health minister Mark Drakeford to respond.
Commenting on the A&E case Mr Graham said: “It’s almost unbelievable.
“She should have been seen straight away and reassured even if a bed couldn’t be found,” he said.
He clarified that the Royal Gwent Hospital was involved in the surgery cases.
An Aneurin Bevan Health Board spokeswoman said: “Despite our extensive preparation some patients will unfortunately have spent longer periods than we would have wished in the emergency department.
“Sometimes patients will quite properly be held there, for example, in our clinical decision units.
“As part of our winter plans, we will always be flexible with the numbers of elective admissions at this busy period, given we know that emergency admissions will be higher, particularly in January.
“We would wish to apologise to any patient that has experienced longer waiting times for treatment or had their surgery postponed.”
Patients in Gwent who have had planned surgery cancelled in recent months, are being asked to tell Aneurin Bevan Community Health Council about their experience, the Argus reported earlier this month.
The move by Aneurin Bevan Community Health Council (CHC) has been triggered by a spate of complaints.
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